Skip to comments.Regrowing Limbs: Can People Regenerate Body Parts?
Posted on 03/18/2008 6:47:11 PM PDT by Flavius
Progress on the road to regenerating major body parts, salamander-style, could transform the treatment of amputations and major wounds
* The gold standard for limb regeneration is the salamander, which can grow perfect replacements for lost body parts throughout its lifetime. Understanding how can provide a road map for human limb regeneration. * The early responses of tissues at an amputation site are not that different in salamanders and in humans, but eventually human tissues form a scar, whereas the salamanders reactivate an embryonic development program to build a new limb. * Learning to control the human wound environment to trigger salamanderlike healing could make it possible to regenerate large body parts.
A salamanders limbs are smaller and a bit slimier than those of most people, but otherwise they are not that different from their human counterparts. The salamander limb is encased in skin, and inside it is composed of a bony skeleton, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and blood vessels. A loose arrangement of cells called fibroblasts holds all these internal tissues together and gives the limb its shape.
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I lost a fingernail once, from the cuticle to the tip, and it completely regenerated itself. Does that count as a limb?
Hasn’t Paul McCartney had a rough enough week already?
Paging Heather Mills!
Does it grow any GOP leadership spines?
The same thing happened to me. The doctor told me humans can regenerate fingertips indefinitely so long as the amputation does not extend beyond the tip of the fingerbone. It was fascinating to watch my fingertip regrow layer by layer (including the fingerprint) over the few months it took to regenerate.
Ah, interesting news to all of us who read A Wrinkle in Time as children.
If it costs an arm and a leg to regrow an arm, then are you really better off?
Good for you! Not everyone’s fingertips will come back. Maybe you should let the nice doctors prod and poke ya a bit. (I wouldn’t, though.)
not sure who this guy is
More importantly, a very rare phenomenon has been observed over the past several hundred years, of exclusively old men, who unexpectedly shed their teeth and regrew a completely new set.
This does not seem physiologically possible, as people are born with their adult teeth in development underneath their baby teeth. A dentist I mentioned this to postulated that they lived the bulk of their lives without the loss of their baby teeth, but this sounds just as unlikely.
But imagine what could be done for people with bad teeth, if their genetic trigger could be activated so that they would grow a new set of healthy teeth.
Imagine teething at the age of 40!
Curtis Connors was born in Coral Gables, Florida. He was a gifted surgeon who enlisted in the army and was sent off to war. He performed emergency battlefield surgery on wounded GIs, but his right arm was injured in a blast and had to be amputated. After his return to civilian life as a research technologist, he became obsessed with uncovering the secrets of reptilian limb regeneration and studied reptilian biology extensively. From his home in the Florida Everglades, he finally developed an experimental serum taken from reptilian DNA. He successfully regrew the missing limb of a rabbit and then, despite the warnings of his wife Martha, chose to test it on himself. Connors ingested the formula and his missing arm did indeed grow back. The formula had a horrible side effect; Connors was subsequently transformed into a reptilian humanoid monster